Let’s talk quinoa, a great addition to any meatless diet. Pronounced KEEN-wah, in case you were wondering. But what is it? It’s actually a seed, but is considered a whole grain. Most importantly, quinoa is the only plant-based source of complete protein. Whoa, what’s that? Yes – there is a plant that contains all 9 essential amino acids: quinoa! And it packs 7g of protein per serving compared to brown rice’s 4g. So it’s got more of a better quality protein. I love it. I will admit it took me a little while to come around to it. I’m much more of a fan of a hot quinoa dish than a cold quinoa salad, though. (Quinoa can replace other grains in soups, stirfries, or Mexican dishes, OR try it in place of oatmeal for breakfast.)
One particular amino acid that quinoa is high in is lysine, which is missing from wheat and rice. Lysine aids in tissue growth and repair, aiding the immune system. (Lysine is often used as a supplement to quickly banish cold sores.) Quinoa also is packed with fiber and minerals. It’s gluten-free, and considered an easily digested grain. Win-win-win.
This dish is vegan, gluten-free*,with no added salt, no added refined sugars, no extracted oils. It’s packed with fiber and healthy fats.
*contains no added gluten ingredients, but make sure you double check all brands of products like vegetable broth or soy sauce that you are using, as many will contain gluten or wheat ingredients.
- 1cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups frozen mango chunks (this would work well with pineapple too)
- 6 cups frozen broccoli florets
- 2 cups frozen diced pepper/onion mix
- 1 cup raw cashews
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup raw agave nectar
- ¾ cup water
- 2 ½ Tbsp Bragg’s (or reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce)
- 1 ½ Tbsp fresh minced garlic
- ½ Tbsp fresh minced ginger
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- Prepare quinoa according to package. (Typically, add 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth and 1 cup quinoa. Bring to boil. Cover, and lower for a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Quinoa will be done when grain is translucent and has little spirals coming out of it.)
- While quinoa is simmering, steam broccoli in covered pot for approx 10 minutes.
- Add mango and pepper/onion mix to broccoli and steam for approx 5-7 minutes until heated thoroughly.
- Stir in cashews and remove from heat.
- To prepare sauce, add all ingredients except corn starch to a small sauce pan and bring to low boil.
- Whisk in corn starch until thickened and thoroughly dissolved.
- Once quinoa is finished, add quinoa to broccoli/mango/cashew mixture and stir in sauce.
- Simmer all ingredients together above medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3-4 minutes to reduce sauce slightly and meld flavors.
Other quinoa recipe posts you might like:
Sopa de Quinua or Quinoa Soup (vegetarianirvana.wordpress.com)
Quinoa: breakfast of champions (mostlyfood.org)
Thai Fried Quinoa (feastyoureyesonmyveg.wordpress.com)
Whole wheat pasta with apple sage Field Roast sausage, broccoli, and a cheese sauce made from Daiya mozzarella, Earth Balance, and almond milk (unsweetened.)
Lately, I’ve just been making big one pot meals with a big serving of whole grains and green vegetables and also some kind of protein (beans, or in this case, the vegan sausage, which is soy-free, but based off of apples, potatoes, and grains.) I made a chili, lasagna, veggie enchiladas, that kind of stuff.
This meal wasn’t particularly as healthy as I would have liked. The sausage is delicious, but high in fat and pretty oily. As are the Earth Balance and Daiya cheese too. But I was just feeling a treat. Next time, I would remake this with cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and balsamic marinated mushrooms. Then I would make a thick cashew based cream sauce to go on top. Yumm… I kind of wish I had thought of that instead…